ENCINITAS — La Costa Heights Elementary School, one of Encinitas Unified School Districts’ notable green schools is rolling out a new program that encourages students and parents to leave their cars at home and commit to taking a brisk walk to school at least one day a week. The new program called Walk On Wednesday or, WOW, is La Costa Heights’ latest effort to promote fitness, reduce parking lot congestion and do their part to keep the environment clean.
The school, which was awarded special recognition for its green programs last year by State Assemblyman Martin Garrick, kicked of their new program in October to coincide with National Walk to School Day.
A slightly rainy morning did not dampen the participating families spirits with many families showing up in specially made T-shirts as they socialized with friends on their walk to school.
Since the official kick-off, every Wednesday different groups of neighbors have been gathering on central street corners as they form a walking school bus en route to school.
“The kids really enjoy meeting up with friends and releasing some early morning energy in the fresh air in the morning,” said Bryn Faris, a neighborhood team captain and program lead.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has seen a decrease in the number of physically active children while the number of children who are deemed overweight has increased. A brisk walk to school increases blood circulation and the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain. So in addition to adding regular physical activity, which has proven health benefits, students arrive at school more alert and ready to learn.
In addition to a more energized student body, LCH families are also proud that they are reducing tailpipe emission in front of the school as well as increasing safety by cutting down on parking lot congestion.